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10 of the best new books coming out in January 2021

January 1, 2021, 12:00 PM UTC
New year, new books to read.
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster, Penguin Business, Harper, Houghton Mifflin

A new novel about what it’s like being the only Black person at a tech startup; a sardonic guide to surviving office life (for whenever we go back); and a bundle of new essays from one of the most lauded American writers of her generation.

Those are just a few of our 10 new books to read this January.

White-Feminism-January 2021 Books
“White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind”
Courtesy of Atria Books

White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind by Koa Beck

Available Jan. 5

Journalist Koa Beck—a veteran of Jezebel, Vogue, and Marie Claire—examines, with clear-eyed scrutiny and in meticulous detail, the history of feminism, from the true mission of the suffragettes to the rise of corporate feminism. Throughout these pages, she documents how elitism and racial prejudice have driven the narrative of feminist discourse. Beck blends pop culture, primary historical research, and firsthand storytelling to show how women of color have been sidelined from the wider movement and what white women must do to course-correct for a new generation.

Black Buck-January 2021 Books
“Black Buck”
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Available Jan. 5

In this propulsive, satirical novel, Mateo Askaripour recounts the rise and fall of a young Black salesman at an otherwise all-white New York City tech startup. It’s the story of how one man battles racism and microaggression to get to the top of a cult-like company. And when it becomes clear he’s the token Black guy, he hatches a plan to help people of color infiltrate America’s sales teams, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game. This razor-sharp novel skewers America’s workforce, explores ambition and race, and imagines a necessary new vision of the American dream.

Driven-January 2021 Books
“Driven: The Race to Create the Autonomous Car”
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Driven: The Race to Create the Autonomous Car by Alex Davies

Available Jan. 5

Perhaps Hollywood is to blame for raising our expectations, but a few years ago, it seemed as if self-driving cars were going to be here sooner rather than later. In Driven, Business Insider senior editor Alex Davies tells the dramatic, colorful story of the quest to develop driverless cars—and the fierce competition among Google, Uber, and other tech and auto giants in the race to revolutionize our lives.

power-of-ethics-January 2021 Books
“The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World”
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World by Susan Liautaud

Available Jan. 5

After two decades as an ethics adviser guiding corporate leaders, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and students in her Stanford University ethics courses, Susan Liautaud is more than equipped to address blurry ethical questions, walking you through a straightforward, four-step process for ethical decision-making you can use every day. The author is the founder and managing director of Susan Liautaud & Associates, which advises clients such as global corporations and NGOs on matters of ethical complexity. She outlines six forces driving virtually every ethical choice we face, positioning the book as an essential guide to ethical decision-making in the 21st century.

Keep-Sharp-January 2021 Books
“Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age”
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Available Jan. 5

With the world upside down indefinitely, it can be hard to stick to what used to be normal routines or even to stay focused. Although it was researched and written well before the current global dilemma, Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s latest work serves as a guide to maintaining and improving cognitive health, from debunking common myths about aging to prescribing which social interactions and games are actually beneficial.

Kamala-Harris-January 2021 Books
“Kamala’s Way: An American Life”
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Kamala’s Way: An American Life by Dan Morain

Available Jan. 12

Though the Vice President–elect was well known among Californians, the country learned much more about Kamala Harris when President-elect Joe Biden named her to the Democratic ticket in August 2020. In Kamala’s Way, journalist Dan Morain—who has covered California policy, politics, and justice-related issues for more than four decades at the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee—offers a revelatory biography of the first biracial and first female Vice President, charting how the daughter of two immigrants in segregated California became one of this country’s most effective power players.

how-to-work-without-losing-your-mind-January 2021 Books
“How to Work Without Losing Your Mind: A Realistic Guide to the Hell of Modern Work”
Courtesy of Penguin Business

How to Work Without Losing Your Mind: A Realistic Guide to the Hell of Modern Work by Cate Sevilla

Available Jan. 14

Drawing on her experience at both giant corporations like Google and scrappy startups, Cate Sevilla’s new book is a blunt, charismatic, and witty guide to surviving the workplace, no matter how big or small it might be. How to Work Without Losing Your Mind is relatable from cover to cover, answering questions (or at least surfacing topics) that everyone experiences but no one talks about, such as feeling overwhelmed by your workload; deciding whether you should quit your job to go freelance; battling a micromanager who seems determined to destroy you; struggling to stay motivated (even though you’re ambitious); and bouncing back from failure.

Climate-Change-January 2021 Books
“How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos”
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos by David Pogue

Available Jan. 26

This vital guide from New York Times contributor David Pogue covers such topics as where to move to avoid the worst natural disasters (seek out cooler temperatures, good hospitals, and resilient infrastructure); how to fortify your home against extreme weather; and what insurance to buy in a chaotic era. You’ll also learn what to grow in your garden; how to invest as the world decarbonizes; and how to talk to your kids about climate change and manage your own health in its wake.

joan-didion-January 2021 Books
“Let Me Tell You What I Mean”
Courtesy of Knopf

Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

Available Jan. 26

Prepare yourselves for 12 previously uncollected essays by Joan Didion. Drawn mostly from the earlier years of her more than five-decades-long career, these essays include interludes at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting and a reunion of World War II veterans in Las Vegas, as well as thoughts about meetings with the likes of Nancy Reagan, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Martha Stewart.

Price YouPay for College-January 2021 Books
“The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make”
Courtesy of Harper

The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make by Ron Lieber

Available Jan. 26

Canceling student loan debt has been a popular debate topic among politicians on the left for the past several years as college tuition has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels—leaving millions of American students in debt for decades after graduation. In The Price You Pay for College, New York Times columnist Ron Lieber details how these costs got so high; how the financial aid system got so complicated; and the ins and outs of merit aid, a new form of financial aid that most colleges now use to compete with peers. Lieber also presses college presidents and financial aid gatekeepers with tough questions about what is worth paying extra for, aiming to provide parents and students financing their own way with the information they need to make more informed, financially sound goals and decisions.

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